Hiking: Picking Trekking Poles
February 17, 2011
It’s no secret there are benefits to hiking with trekking poles. When used with proper technique, they can reduce the weight on your legs by up to 11 pounds per step on flat terrain and by up to 17 pounds on an incline. Considering the number of steps you take during just an hour-long hike, that can quickly add up to a ton of weight – literally.
Photo by Blasbike, dreamstime.com
But with trekking poles, that weight is vanishing, as it’s transferred to your arms. Which is why selecting the right trekking pole for your type of hiking is so very important. Here’s a brief look at the three major trekking pole options:
These poles are generally light and relatively inexpensive. They provide a decent amount of support and weight balance for the average hiker.
These poles are shorter and lighter in weight than standard poles and feature smaller handgrips for hikers with smaller hands. These are a popular choice with female hikers.
These poles have internal springs that act as shock absorbers when you walk on a decline. If you have weak or damaged joints in your ankles, knees or hips, these are a good – though more expensive – option.